Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Crystal Dynamics
Release Date: 8/18/2010
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Tomb Raider’s come back with Legend gave fans hope that Lara was not dead, but after the success of Underworld Crystal Dynamics decided to do something different with a top-down adventure game and everyone was skeptical. The game’s story is probably the weakest part of you and an Aztec named Totec trying to beat an evil Aztec guy…yeah real interesting.
Despite that, the combat is awesome with a dual-stick shooter-type gameplay. You can switch weapons on the fly from four presets and killing wave after wave is fun. Each enemy type is pretty unique with some shooting magic spells, some explode with deadly gas, some are huge and can crush you, and some are even fast and come in high numbers. There is a huge weapon selection from assault rifles, to spears, to grenade launchers and each weapon is well balanced and has its uses even in puzzles.
This, of course, has always been Tomb Raider‘s strongest point which is the puzzle department. You can use spears to get to higher ledges, use the grenade launcher and bounce it around corners to flip switches, destroys barriers, etc. You can use your grapple to hang down ledges, and pushing giant boulders around can even be used as a powerful weapon! It’s great how everything in the game has more than one use and really makes you think and gives you a broad range of things to do. The puzzles can range from switch puzzles to combat puzzles, or even a whole level being one great puzzle.
The game also has lots of ways to come back and do well in levels. There is a point system and you acquire them from killing enemies, and collecting gems, and you get rewarded relics for completing challenges. Relics can be equipped to boost your stats such as weapon power, health, speed, or range. These will really turn the tide in battle, and there is quite a bit to collect and it’s a good incentive to really do the challenges. However, some challenges are almost impossible and don’t seem like they were planned out too well.
The game looks amazing and Lara is as sexy as ever and is voiced by the same person who’s been doing it since Legend. The game is full of thrills just like the bigger games and is just so much fun and not one section ever feels the same. Each level is crafted perfectly and everything is balanced just right. Another incentive for players who couldn’t get the hang of other TR games should pick up GoL because of its ease of perspective and good controls. This is one of the best XBLA games to come out in the Xbox’s history and should not be passed up. It even has a good price!